Category Archives: British Brides

A Quirky East London Pub Wedding with a Nod to the 1940s: Becca & Dan

For Becca & Dan, a formal wedding was never on the cards. “We wanted the day to be about our guests not all the attention on us,” the bride wrote. “There were no formalities, just tea & cakes followed by pie & mash then a good all knees up in an east London pub with Billie Holiday playing & a free bar all night!”

Becca got ready at Zetter Townhouse, a really stylish house with quirky vintage decor & stuffed animals. It proved to be the perfect place for some pre-ceremony snaps with her bridesmaid and really set the tone for the rest of the wedding day.

The bride wore an unusual and beautiful Delphine Manivet wedding dress with nude Kurt Geiger shoes and a vintage headpiece. For the couple’s portraits in a local park (with their dog – I love this!) Becca added a fur trimmed coat.

After a ceremony in Hackney town hall, the lucky wedding guests were treated to a good old fashioned party with a nod to the 1940s at The Crown Pub in Victoria Park, East London.

The couple booked Joanna Brown to capture the fun. “Jo was truly brilliant,” Becca continued. “She understood what we wanted and put us at ease straight away. We knew we’d picked the best girl for the job and she captured our day just perfectly.  We really feel that if you weren’t there on the day, our photos really tell the story of our wedding.”

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A Vintage Tepee Wedding: Gemma & Giuseppe

There’s quite a story behind Gemma & Giuseppe’s gorgeous wedding, and one that I hope might ease any of you stressing about your wedding venue (I know Roo had a bit of a similar drama last month, she’ll be writing about it for you soon).

“Our reception took place in tepees, at Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge (who, p.s. were AMAZING)” Gemma explained. “We had always wanted a tepee party, but our original venue to pitch them fell through with just 8 days to go! Oatlands Park Hotel came to our rescue and then some. They turned everything around so brilliantly – nothing was a problem, and they accommodated everything from the tepees to my 100 vintage teacups for the arrival champagne. After it all went bottoms up, major panic ensued for approximately half a day before I gave myself a stern talking to and set to work! I have to say that despite all of the last minute worry, the day went like a dream, and it just goes to show that even the biggest disasters don’t mean that your special day is ruined!”

However there’s no telling that there was any drama when looking at their fabulous photographs from Robbins Photographic. “We found photographer Lee over a year before our wedding, and as soon as we sat down for a coffee and a chat, we knew instantly that we’d met our photographer. Photography was one of the most important things for us. After all, it’s a record of your day and something you will look back at for years to come. To say we are both chuffed with the results is an understatement! Lee perfectly captured the fun and laid back vibe of our day (not to mention the fact that he totally got my personal hatred of anything posed to within an inch of its life, and/or the compulsory group shots!). From our ‘couple’ shots to all of the little DIY details, Lee covered it all and then some. Even our guests commented on how great he was (and that was before he won them over with his photobooth box of tricks!).”

Even though they didn’t have much time, the couple were able to really put their own stamp on their reception tepees, and even the ceremony was filled with personal touches. “I was determined to make sure that every detail of the wedding was ‘us’. Even though we chose a church ceremony (traditionally very formal), we made sure the atmosphere was relaxed and fun,” Gemma continued. “The vicar was more than happy for our string trio to play modern, well-known songs, to make sure the music was personal to us all the way through the ceremony. We also made 100 flags for our guests to wave when we walked back down the aisle as man and wife. I loved it! They were really easy to make – we bought some good quality stiff paper, a load of pop-cake sticks, and set to work with a few pairs of wavy-edged scissors and a hot glue gun!”

 “Our party tepees were also littered with various bits and bobs we made ourselves. Giuseppe did a sterling job of making a job-lot of beards and red lips on sticks (which went down a storm with our guests by the looks of the photos!), my Dad made our seating plan frame out of polystyrene and gold spray paint, my Mum and I spent a whole day hand-painting lanterns from Ikea to make sure they went with our colour scheme, and I had a lovely old time thinking up all manner of ideas to transform the blank canvas of the tents. The list is pretty endless, but if you can manage to do it yourself you can create an atmosphere which is totally up your street for a lot less money than you think.”

“There were so many different themes or styles I loved, and I’m sure Giuseppe tore his hair out on more than one occassion every time I discovered something else or changed my mind! So in the end we had a little bit of everything that makes us ‘us’! Let’s be honest, our wedding was full of contradictions. We just threw everything into a big pot and gave it a good old stir…and thankfully it worked! I won’t lie, it was hard work. I was more of a hectic bride than a blushing one! But all of the little things we did were definitely worth it. Our main aim was to avoid having a traditional ‘do’, so we simply saw our wedding as the biggest celebration bash we would ever throw.”

The bride wore a stunning blush vintage wedding dress from Fur Coat No Knickers and some statement Beatrix Ong shoes. “I always knew that I’d end up with a vintage dress, and annoyingly I had visions of it being a champagne/blush coloured dress. Not easy when most dresses are either white or ivory! Amazingly, after only one week and two visits to the girls at Fur Coat No Knickers, I’d found my dress! I made quite a few changes to it – we added more tulle to make the skirt bigger, changed the neckine from straight to sweetheart, replaced the waist sash and added some silk flowers to the back. I also quickly discovered that a long veil just wasn’t me (I felt like I’d aged 100 years!), and that a birdcage veil was much more my style.”

“This was all no problem for the girls at FCNK, who sourced all manner of flowers, feathers, and vintage jewels to make various creations until we hit upon the right one! I’d recommend  Fur Coat No Knickers to anyone – the girls, Emma and Laura, are incredible, we always had a laugh when we went. They were both extremely helpful in coming up with ideas to fit in with my style, as well as totally understanding any changes I wanted to make to the dress. I was made to feel extremely special every time I stepped through the door, and my dress fittings became one of the most memorable occassions in my wedding prep history!”

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A Retro, Kitsch & Cherry-Themed Southend-on-Sea Wedding: Heidi & Jim

You can’t help but fall in love with Heidi & Jim’s Southend-on-Sea wedding. The cherry theme is just so cute and perfect for a retro, quirky and kitsch seaside wedding. “Our inspiration was most definately ourselves, our loved ones and where we live, sunny Southend-on-Sea!” Heidi explained. “We wanted a wedding that was totally personal to us, that involved everyone close to us as much as we could and that was totally full of fun and unstuffy. We knew we wanted good food and a venue that was ours, where we could do what we wanted, decorate it how we wanted, drink the drinks we wanted and eat the food we wanted!”

“We wanted to incorporate the seaside and beloved beach huts and achieved this through our wedding photographer Sam Gibson‘s wonderful photos and the beautiful view from our favourite restaurant, Toulouse, where we had a four course meal before our after-party at Red Brick Barn, Rochford. We wanted as much as possible to be homemade, thoughtful and unique and to give those close to us the opportunity to do something they love doing towards our big day.”


The bride wore a Vivien of Holloway circle dress and cute cherry Vivienne Westwood/Melissa shoes. Her incredible headpiece was actually homemade by the bride and was inspired by a very expensive (and way out of budget) Piers Atkinson piece.

The couple decorated Red Brick Barn themselves with handmade bunting, vinyl cake stands and bowls bought on eBay and hundreds of coke bottles with flowers in them. “We would just love to say how much of an amazing time we had,” concluded the bride. “We would hugely recommend doing everything yourself. Yes, it’s hard work but the result is amazing! It’s so easy to get swept along into a carbon copy package wedding with no personality or originality, but break that mould and do what you want! If other people don’t like it that’s their problem not yours.”

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We had some wind and a spot of rain but it all added to the character of the day and without it we wouldn’t have had the beautiful rainbow! Now that’s something you can’t choose out of the bridal magazines!”

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A Bohemian Wedding with the World’s Coolest Centrepieces

Describing your wedding to me as ‘vintage tech’ automatically gets my attention. But when I actually laid eyes on the Star Wars figurines and helmets, the 80’s VHS’, the tennis rackets, the splashes of neon paint and the 80’s cassette players…all nestled nicely into the bohemian chic setting…well I might have let out a little squeal of joy. The two juxtaposing ideas shouldn’t work, but they do – perfectly.

I a squillion percent believe this to be wedding with the coolest centrepieces ever. EVER. Who needs to spend hundreds on expensive flowers and stuff…just throw things you already own on the tables and voila! Instant awesome!

(You can see the rest of their tables in the gallery below – each table was different).

“We wanted the day to feel personal to us,” the bride wrote. “I guess everyone does, but we really tried to think about a few key details & set the tone for the day with the service. We used a craftrobo stencil cutting machine to make stencils and spray painted the place names & table plan shutters. My brother found the shutters in a skip. We also used milk bottles I’d collected as a kid and jam jars kept by my Mum for the table flowers.”

“We went for a humanist celebration which was conducted by Leigh Chambers. It had a sense of occasion, was very personal but also a lot of fun. It told our story and embraced both our cultures – the English traditions of vows and exchanging rings and Ismaili traditions including breaking the sapatiya. Because we’re both hoarders and we love our stuff we used objects we owned that represented the two of us to give each table it’s own individual theme.”

…And theme it they certainly did…Oh I’ve literally died and gone to heaven…vintage tech heaven to be exact.

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A Black Prada Dress, A Neon Sign and a Very Unconventional Wedding: Katie & Patrick

Katie & Patrick wanted a local wedding, one that reflected how they live their lives. They love Stoke Newington and so wanted to use local suppliers and to keep the wedding as close to home as possible. After proposing on Waterloo Bridge, Patrick presented Katie with a beautiful piece of costume jewellery from Kat and Bee. Katie always said she didn’t really want a wedding ring, as she explains, “I’m not keen on having a ring that I have to wear every day for the rest of my life, I wasn’t sure about the whole wedding ring thing. I did say though, that I would absolutely love a suffragette ring and, whilst I might not wear it everyday, I would definitely only want a wedding ring if it was one of those. They are about as rare as hen’s teeth. But Patrick has a reputation for resilience! And he managed to find one..well, actually, he managed to find two! So I am now the proud owner of two suffragette rings, one of which is sort of my wedding ring.”

An unconventional couple, their wedding was always going to be anything but traditional. This continued when, as a wedding gift, Katie bought Patrick a neon sign (amazing!) “We had spent ages choosing songs that meant loads to us for walking down the aisle, signing the register, first dance, etc, and I knew that, a long time ago, Patrick had said he would love a neon sign. The two things just sort of came together in my head and I sketched something out on a piece of paper and sent it to a few companies for a quote. Southern Neon were so lovely and really got what I was talking about. The quote is from the June Carter Cash song, Time’s a Wastin’ (they use it in Walk The Line) and we walked back down the aisle to it, newly married! I pre-arranged with our photographer Ed that we would ‘call in’ to the house as we walked around Stoke Newington snapping photos (another advantage of getting married around the corner from your house) and then took Patrick upstairs to show him. Luckily he loved it!”

The wedding reception was held at The Londesborough. The couple wanted a chilled out party with no pressure or tradition and the pub provided the perfect atmosphere for that. They made the bunting themselves and hired candelabras to put on the tables.

“We just didn’t want a day that was about subscribing to the norm,” the bride continued. “We thought about each and every thing that is supposed to happen at a wedding and considered whether those things meant anything to us or not. For example, we really wanted really cool photos and we definitely wanted a first dance. We weren’t fussed, however, about wedding cars or formal suiting or white dresses. So we spent all our budget on the important things and made them exactly how we wanted them, and we ignored altogether all the things we weren’t fussed about.”

“We definitely didn’t want to pick one best man or select bridesmaids (my friends would not have forgiven them for putting them in bridesmaids dresses) so we got almost all our friends involved somehow, from making cakes for the table, to doing a short speech, almost everyone had a part to play. My Mum probably had one of the toughest jobs – the favours were bags of old fashioned sweets with one ‘surprise’ present in each, ranging from a plane kit to (drum roll) stuffed moustaches on sticks. My Mum made and stuffed 20 moustaches! They took 2 hours each! That is love…I bought her a stuffed moustache brooch from the Brick Lane Craft Fair to say thanks!”

Katie wore a black Prada dress which she found, amazingly, in TK Maxx. It was reduced from £2400 to just £600! She also carried a black Vivienne Westwood bag (oh I love this bride!) “I was working just down the road from TK Maxx Fenchurch Street which has a sizeable gold label section in all the rich city workers!” Katie laughed. “My desk was in an open-plan office, right next to a good friend of mine, Aylin. She knew I was on the lookout for a dress for the wedding and one lunchtime I turned to her and said ‘We need to go to TK Maxx, I have a good feeling about today.’ She said ‘Weird, I was just about to say the same to you.’ We dutifully set off and when we arrived, laying on top of the racks was a black silk dress by Prada, with no size or anything in it. I could tell just by looking at it that it was almost definitely my size! I tried it on, she got emotional and said it was great and that I should go for it. One dress purchased, one personal shopping session at Selfridges cancelled, and one very happy TK Maxx bride!”

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A Locally Sourced & Relaxed Wedding: Kelly & James

“Love, laughter, friends & family” said Kelly when I asked her about her wedding theme. “Through all the help and support we had leading up to the day, we knew this would be our ‘theme’. It was important to us to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves. For us, it wasn’t about having a particular style or colour running through the flowers – it was just about being true to us as a couple and a family.”

Kelly & James were married at Braziers Park School in Oxfordshire, “I guess the inspiration for the day was making it about us and the things that are important to us which is basically family, friends and good food,” Kelly continued. “I am a big believer in things happening for a reason and so many things leading up to our wedding seemed like they were meant to be and felt so right!”

“We had been to see various wedding venues and just didn’t ‘click’ with them, as soon as we left Braziers Park, James and I could both immediately could see the day happening there. The fact that it was so close to where we first kissed made it even more special. We had been to some other stunning venues but felt like we were on a bit of a conveyor belt and that we wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to do things the way that we wanted.”

“At the beginning of the year of my best friends recently chose to become a wedding celebrant and offered to hold our ceremony for us. It was absolutely perfect and we felt very honoured that she was able to do it for us. It made the whole experience so personal.”

The bride wore a stunning Linea Raffaelli wedding gown which she bought second hand from a friend and customised by adding antique lace straps. “When we decided to get married my now Sister-in-law mentioned that a friend had a dress for sale,” Kelly explained. “I had seen a picture but wasn’t sure it was right for me but thought I should go along and try it as everyone said you should try all styles. When I tried it on I was really surprised how much I loved it as it was nothing like the image of the dress I thought I would wear. The dress was originally strapless but with 3 young children I just wasn’t sure it would work, so chose to have straps added. I met with a lovely local dressmaker and worked with her to choose the style of strap. I now think the antique lace straps made the dress and I love the fact that I was able to make it my own with it being a 2nd hand dress! I vowed to make the most of being in my dress as you only get to wear it once and said right from the start I wouldn’t be precious about wearing it. With the bonfires and camping it was a good job! I even ended up sleeping in it in our tent!”

After the ceremony, the wedding guests were treated to a delicious meal of local produce. “James works in the catering industry, running a local restaurant – which is actually where we met, so the food on the day was really important to us. Right from the start we wanted a meal that was relaxed, could be shared, and passed around to get our guests chatting. We wanted to move away from the formal fussy sit down. We chose to have 3 long tables rather than a number of tables as we loved the idea of a banquet/feast! We were fortunate enough that his boss helped us with the catering and put on an amazing spread of food, not only in the day but also the evening with large roast joints of pork on the open fire, chicken & lentil dahl & falafel flatbreads.”

The evening was rounded off with a campfire, dancing to an all girl rockabilly band and finally many of the guests camping over night! “We chose to have the band that we did after a recommendation when we had said we didn’t want to have a typical ‘wedding band’. It was great to have something different and I’m pretty sure all our guests loved them too! The camping was a big thing for us as well, most venues that you go to have to come to an end at some point and the camping allowed us to carry on with friends to the early hours of the morning.”

“The things that were truly important to James and I were keeping the day simple and about the things that we love and enjoy,” the bride concluded. “We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and we weren’t fixed on keeping in traditions for traditions sake. We thought about the things that were important to us i.e. rings as a symbol or our commitment and my Dad proudly walking me down the aisle and ignored the things that weren’t like cutting a cake or having a head table. It’s amazing the amount of people that look at you strangely when you say you’re not having those things. If I could give anyone getting married advice it would be to keep to what you want and don’t worry about what other people think. We just really wanted to have the most amount of fun possible with all the people we like spending time with.”

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